When the stakes in the industry are this high, you always have to read the comments. These are the blog entries that bring industry buffs out of the woodwork simply because they know what is happening on the ground… and those happenings have nothing to do with WebM!
This comment (emphasis added) was left by user, “Rasmus,” who legitimately discusses the problems with Google’s decision to move away from H.264. There are no happy comments on the blog entry and that should tell Google something. The only other emotion in the comments is apathy, in particular from someone who was fine with the WebM move, but asked Google to be consistent and drop support for Flash. All aside, consumers are unhappy and it seems Google is too self-absorbed to care.
This is a terrible decision, in my opinion. H.264 is (asymptotically close to) perfect as is. Don’t try to reverse innovation. Try to resist the not-invented-here syndrome. Google is just setting users up to suffer through yet another format war. And please don’t tell me it is to support free and open standards when Chrome continues to support Flash and Silverlight. H.264 solved the problem of having the entire production and distribution chain depend on old inefficient MPEG2 and is ubiquitous and has good hardware support by now. It is an open standard. Period. You can say what you like about the industry practice of using IP royalties to recoup and make a profit on R&D investments (and the cost Google might incur from this), but removing support for the best established video standard is not putting Google’s users’ interests first.
Did the Internet community peak at bookmarks? Asked in a different and perhaps more complete way: just as technologies like RSS and email in their purest forms are hard to beat even as technology marches forward, what better technology exists to keep track of information on the ever-expanding Internet than bookmarks? Taken a step further, what better way to share the bookmarked information than a site of your own? As such, I‘ve been reading, which is why I write now.
Working in and having a passion for libraries, I am struck by the fact that the way bookmarks work in the physical world is not directly analogous to bookmarks in the digital world. Bookmarks in the digital world are instead like dog-eared pages or highlighted passages; if you think of the Internet as a single tome, that is. In any case, anything that moves you to deface a book should probably be shared or become immortalized in some other way than just a reference for a future version of yourself.